The confidentiality of private communications has been a very important subject in recent years. This article is not intended to explain the problems related to data privacy but to show how and simply make your activities in this ultra-connected world less visible …
Always-on VPN, a lifestyle
Five years ago, using VPN to secure the flow of digital information was not a widespread practice in the public world. Certainly, there were solutions but that were known mainly by people working in the field of computing.
With the occurrence of more frequent cases of hacking and also all revelations related to the use of personal data by large groups such as Facebook, Google or the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, VPN services have become more widely available and more and more used by the general public.
Who can be trusted ?
Some questions are essential. Why we need to route all traffic through servers of a specific company ? How can I be sure that this company does not maintain relationship with government or federal agencies ?
Personally, my answer is : you cannot be sure. In this article I choose to speak about NordVPN because I like it and its features and I have enough “trust” on this company. Another answer could be : I prefer that only one company “see” my traffic than many ones (your ISP provider, Google, facebook or third-party snoopers).
How I choose my VPN Provider ?
Below, just some “tips” or questions that helped me to choose this provider. I ordered them by importance for me.
- Location of VPN provider HQ : It’s really important that the HQ of the provider is located into a country which does not require data storage. NordVPN is located to Panama. They apply strict no-log policy.
- Functionalities : A good provider should offer more than just a secured tunnel. Advanced functions like Double VPN, military grade encryption, auto kill switch, DNS leak protection, Onion over VPN are a must.
- Number of servers and countries : More than 5700 servers over 60 countries are available. This ensure the availability of the services and the possibility to route traffic everywhere. More servers there are, less they are loaded and faster your connection is.
- Portability : Of course, I want a tool which is available on my Linux, Windows, IOS or Android Phone… NordVPN is available on Android, Android TV IOS, MacOS, Linux, Windows or directly as plugin into Firefox and Chrome.
- Price : Of course, price is important too. After comparison of other great VPN provider (ProtonVPN for example), NordVPN is less costly. They often have special discounts. (115 $ for 3 years subscription in my case)
Basic setup on linux
Now let’s start the practical part. After creating your account on NordVPN, simply download the binary for your OS. In my case, I choose the .deb for my Ubuntu. Once downloaded, simply install it using Package manager or dpkg CLI command.
Step 1 – Login
Once installed, simply run the following command to log in into your account using your e-mail address and password
# nordvpn login
Step 2 – Establish first connection
Once connected, you can establish your first connection. The easiest command to use is the following:
# nordvpn connect
This command will search for the better server for you, typically the server with the less latency; that mean that you have a lot of chance to have a server located in your country or just a bordering country.
To check the status of the connection use the command,
# nordvpn status Status: Connected Current server: fr201.nordvpn.com Country: France City: Paris Your new IP: 220.127.116.11 Current protocol: UDP Transfer: 33.43 MiB received, 5.06 MiB sent Uptime: 0 hours 5 minutes 45 seconds
To close the connection, simply use disconnect cmdlet:
# nordvpn disconnect